Liberating Structures

I attended a fascinating session yesterday: Feet on the Ground, Shooting for the Moon, Design Thinking, Positive Deviance & Liberating Structures in Action by Keith McCandless, Mary Katica & Molly Angel.

I was impressed. Liberating Structures feels very powerful, inclusive and effective. They have documented impressive results. After being led through three of their exercises, I noticed that they felt lighter weight, more human and more authentic than many of the processes I have experienced. I could sense some of the power that the presenters talked about. Keith spoke of how quickly Liberating Structures can be taught and can spread in organizations. After a 3-day workshop (see schedule here) and 2 days of open-ended consulting (to contextualize and localize the practices), the practices persist without the need to continually engage consultants. Some of the people there with a lot of experience in Lean, talked about how the change from Liberating Structures is more effective and persistent than practices like Lean. Very interesting. I will be looking into this.

The Social Invention Group’s website has a variety of papers on Liberating Structures. Here is a grid illustrating the Liberating Structures (from

Thank you, Organization Systems Renewal program at Seattle University, for hosting workshops like this.

About davidsocha

In autumn 2010 after spending 19 years working in a variety of software organizations as a programmer, architect, manager, teacher, ScrumMaster, product designer, change agent, and agile coach, I finally listened to what everyone had been telling me I should be doing and joined the University of Washington Bothell as an Assistant Professor in Computing & Software Systems. My interests are how to create and maintain great teams, particularly those in software development organizations. I am most interested in distinctions that dramatically increase the effectiveness of teams, such as systems thinking, design thinking, biomimicry, and human centered design. I am a pragmatist, a collaborator, and an optimist.
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